I learned this game in Bay…
I learned this game in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where it was called KING’s and the scoring was different from how it’s described on the main page. Where we played, the King would server and would have to hit the ball out of his box, but it didn’t not have to go the next box or the Queen, it could go to anyone. So you could hit the ball to a player three or four down the line. Also, a player in the middle of the line, could hit to his left or his right, so the game had a lot of variety. For us, the ACE, was the last guy in line, also called the ass. When a ball came to you, you could hit it to anyone or you could play it to yourself. A good strategy was to play it to yourself several times, until you were real close to the wall, forcing your opponents to come in to the wall too. If they came up close, you could hit hard and deep on them. If they didn’t come up close, you could hit soft and shallow, like a drop shot in Tennis.
The scoring worked like the basketball game of HORSE, where each time you missed, you got a letter. If you spelled out KING’S you lost, (K-I-N-G-‘-S six points including the apostrophe.) If you were the King you got to serve, but if you lost the point, you moved all the way to the end and became the Ace, and the Queen became King. Serving had great advantages and most people tried to become King. I think also if you were King and lost you didn’t get a letter. The other strategy was for everyone to keep hitting the ball to one player, trying to get him out first.
When a player first got the apostrophe, they then became King which gave them a chance of lasting a little longer.
You need a good flat wall to play this on with a good sidewalk. We used to play in alley down my block, flat walls and good deep boxes in the cement. If you lost, you went Asses Up.